Jataayu Challenges Ravana


Jataayu confronts Ravana on hearing the wailing of Seetha. He boldly forestalls Ravana and his air-chariot in the sky itself, and as an elderly being he reviles Ravana from the viewpoint of righteousness befitting to kings, but of no avail. His dilemma is that he cannot take flight to Rama's place, nor he can forestall Ravana until Rama comes. Yet, he persists to affront Ravana.

Chapter [Sarga] 50 in Detail

Jataayu who is slumbering away craned and stared on hearing the voicing of Seetha and then he saw Ravana and even Vaidehi. [3-50-1]

That best bird majestic Jataayu with a very sharp beak and appearing like a mountain peak, then uttered these words of expediency still perching on a tree. [3-50-2]

"Oh, brother, now it is inapt of you to undertake a deplorable deed. I am one of those who abide by perpetual probity and avowed to truthfulness. Such as I am, oh, Decahedral-demon Ravana, I am the mightiest king of eagles known by the name Jataayu. [3-50-3, 4a]

"Rama, the son of Dasharatha, is the master of all the world, one similar to Mahendra and Varuna, the Rain-god, and the one who is connected with the well-being of all the world. [3-50-4b, 5a]

"Whom you desire to abduct now, that best lady is Seetha by her name, and this glorious one is the legitimate wife of that preserver of all the worlds, namely Rama. [3-50-5b, 6a]

"How a king adhering to probity can lay his hands on the wives of others? If it is a king's wife, oh, great-mighty Ravana, she is to be safeguarded particularly. [3-50-6b, 7a]

"Reverse your filthy course, or fortuity, or mind form laying your hands on other's wives. A sagacious person does not undertake that deed by which others deplore him. As with the protection of one's own wife from somebody's laying hands on her, other person's wife is also to be protected in that way. [3-50-8 [3-50-7b, 8]

"If the means to gain probity, or prosperities, or even pleasures are inconspicuous in scriptures, oh, the scion of Paulastya, then even the erudite [learned] scholars will conduct themselves following the king and his demeanor [behavior toward others]. [3-50-9]

"A king is the best repository for probity, prosperities, and pleasures, and whether it is probity or felicity or even iniquity that will emerge from the fount called king. [3-50-10]

"You by your nature are a devilish and mercurial personality though you have come from a decent lineage, how you have become an outranking demon among demons and how you could attain kingdom, which is to be ruled righteously, like an evildoer attaining a heaven-bound aircraft. [3-50-11]

"He whose nature itself is vile, it is perhaps impossible for him to efface it, and in the residence of such an evil-minded person, evilly acquired prosperity does not dwell for a long time, indeed. [3-50-12]

"When that great-mighty Rama has not transgressed either in your country or in your city Lanka, then how you become a transgressor in respect of that noble-souled Rama? [3-50-13]

"If Rama of indefatigable deeds firstly eliminated Khara who is stationed at Janasthaana, and who transgressed for the sake of Shuurpanakha, tell me what in actuality is the highly overstepping behavior of Rama in that matter, whereupon you are stealing off with the wife of such a lord of world? [3-50-14, 15]

"Instantly deliver up Vaidehi. Let not the disastrous and glowing fire-like eyes of Rama, which transmogrify so when he assumes fury, burn you down as the Thunderbolt of Indra once burnt the demon Vritta. [3-50-16]

"You are unconscious that you have presently bundled a lethally venomous serpent at the fringe of your attire, and you are equally unwary that the terminator's lasso [rope] is presently loosened around your neck. [3-50-17]

"Oh, cultured one, that weight alone is to be shouldered by which a man is not brought down, and that repast alone is to be consumed by which nothing upsets. [3-50-18]

"Who will undertake a deed that yields neither probity, nor deference, nor distinction but results in just physical drudgery? [3-50-19]

"I have dedicated myself to the kingdom of my fathers and forefathers according to tradition, and sixty thousand years have elapsed since I was born. [3-50-20]

"You are youngish whereas I am oldish, you are an armored archer darting arrows from an air-chariot, whereas I am pensile bird in an open sky. Nevertheless, on taking Vaidehi you cannot abscond safely. [3-50-21]

"Veda-s are definitive in their canons and their authority is established beyond doubt, yet the doubtful scholarly logicians still try to pamper their import with their conjectural logic, and when I am watchful of what is going on I do not let you pamper Seetha, as such take this caution and release her. [3-50-22]

"Stay for a moment, oh, Ravana, if you are valiant enough you can combat with Rama who will return right away, and at his hand you will be slain and sprawling on earth in the same way as Khara sprawled earlier. [3-50-23]

"He who eliminated demons and ogres in combats time after time, that Rama though apparently attired in jute-cloths like a meek-saint, will become a towering-inferno in a given combat, and he eliminates you very soon. [3-50-24]

"What can possibly be done by me when those princes have gone far-off! It is beyond the scope of my fetching them in time! You knave, you who are scared of them will now be lost to my blockade, without a doubt. [3-50-25]

"When I am alive you cannot lead away this auspicious, lotus-leave-eyed Seetha, the dear queen of Rama. [3-50-26]

"But I must definitely accomplish something to forestall you till they come, for I cannot willingly depart from here to fetch any of the two brothers, and that deed I needs must do shall be agreeable to the great-souled Rama, likewise even to Dasharatha, even at the stake of my life. [3-50-27]

"Stop off! Stop off! Oh, Decahedral Ravana, briefly learn of me as how I jettison you from your best air-chariot, as with the unloading of a burdensome fruit from its sepals. Oh, nightwalker, I will be giving guest-ship to you in a duel as long as I am alive. [3-50-28]

Thus, this is the 50th chapter in Aranya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate